It is rare that one word is associated with an individual in a particular context. But, for any NBA fan, the word “practice” is likely to bring back memories of one individual and one individual alone – Allen Iverson.
Iverson was an absolute icon in the world of basketball. The 6’o point guard stole hearts with his crossovers and was the personification of “drip” in the NBA too. With his cornrows and his street fits, AI had the crowd dancing to his tunes more often than not.
And if all of this wasn’t enough to establish the cult status associated with Allen Iverson, there was his “practice” rant. The iconic press conference where The Answer addressed talks about him missing practice in stunning fashion.
So, practice clearly was a touchy topic with AI. Former teammate and NBA Champion Dahntay Jones, however, believes that The Answer didn’t really need the practice though.
Dahntay Jones said Allen Iverson was too talented and didn’t have to put work in to be great.
By being an NBA player, one already establishes himself as one of the most talented basketball players in the world. However, even amongst that elite segment of gifted individuals, some stand out. Allen Iverson is one of those, in the admission of his own fellow players.
Dahntay Jones was a former role player in the NBA who happened to be a teammate of AI’s at Denver. Despite getting his hands on the ultimate silverware which evaded Iverson, Jones’ admiration for his former teammate is evident in his words.
“AI didn’t touch the ball all summer. Not saying he didn’t love it, but he was so gifted that like it just poured out of his pores. You find that in the NBA sometimes. Some guys just can be so gifted. They don’t have to love it. They don’t have to put work into it” described Jones of how naturally talented his teammate was.
Sometimes, gifted is the only way you can describe some people. Their work ethic may not translate to their performances and it may not always make sense. Allen Iverson is one of those, and even the people who got to see him on a daily basis attest to this fact.
Allen Iverson’s lack of interest in “practice” was there for the world to see.
You know someone has a problem with a word or the idea associated with the word when it is stressed in jest 22 times. That is exactly what happened with Allen Iverson and “practice”.
Iverson’s rant channeled all frustration he felt at the moment and directed it at shocked journalists. In his exact words: “We sitting in here — I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we in here talking about practice. I mean, listen: We talking about practice. Not a game (x3). We talking about practice. Not a game. Not the game that I go out there. And die for and play every game like it’s my last. Not the game. We talking about practice, man.”
The Answer was clearly livid. And rightly so, considering the numbers he still put up with for the Sixers. With even his teammates vouching for his touch despite the alleged lack of “practice” that too.